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Atlanta Carnival? Atlanta-Dekalb Carnival? Confused? Let me help.

By Posted on 5min read46 views

There are two Atlanta carnivals happening. I’m here to help you with some information that will help you make your choice for 2022.  (Updated MARCH 10, 2022)

  • Atlanta-Dekalb Carnival route has significant changes. 
  • Intel on a longer parade route.

I’ve been sitting on my hands, waiting on things to be official for 2022 before I would even brush on this.  But news flash: There are two “Atlanta” carnival parades happening on the same date. Why? I won’t get into all that, but this is what you need to know.

Both Atlanta and Atlanta-Dekalb carnivals will take place Saturday, May 28th in different locations.  In the past, many people have gone to the wrong event they intended to seek, so it’s important to me to make you aware.

Two separate "Atlanta" Carnivals.

Atlanta Carnival

atlanta caribbean carnival parade route
Parade route from 2019.
Atlanta carnival 2022 Band launch flyer
Atlanta Carnival Band Launch will be February 5, 2022.

The ACCBA has announced all their bands will launch on February 5, 2022. 

To purchase tickets to cooler fete/band lanch,  click here.

Run by the Atlanta Caribbean Carnival Bandleader’s Association (ACCBA), the “downtown” Atlanta carnival is considered the “original” carnival that takes to the streets in downtown Atlanta.  Since a split around 2014-2015, the “downtown” Atlanta carnival has been on a smaller scale, but also has great vibes. I have been advised to expect MUCH more from the ACCBA this year. You can find out more here. The website is still updating information about the participating Mas Bads and Parade Route, so stay tuned. The links below are to their Facebook and Instagram pages.  You can also find their Facebook group here.

A representative of the ACCBA has advised me that the parade route will be the same as 2019’s route.  However, a little bird told me it is intended to have a longer parade route this year.

Atlanta-Dekalb carnival used to be a four-hour parade route. 

 

Downtown Atlanta Carnival Bands

Listing of the downtown Atlanta carnival bands are listed here and have been verified as current as of 11/19 by an ACCBA representative.  Most of these bands do not have instagram pages or websites listed.

Atlanta-Dekalb Carnival

Atlanta Dekalb Carnival Parade Route
This is the new parade route as of March 11, 2022.

The Atlanta Carnival Bandleader’s Council (ACBC) developed the Atlanta-Dekalb carnival after the split with the ACCBA.  Since then, Atlanta-Dekalb has been the most significant carnival, backed with more mas bands than the downtown event.  You can find out more at: https://atlantadekalbcarnival.org/. 

The parade will take place on a new (but old) parade route on Convington Parkway in Decatur, GA.  It will start at Covington Parkway near Paul Edwin Drive, leading into the Festival village at 4380 Memorial Drive.

The old parade route was about four hours long.  On the other hand, the new parade route will be longer, giving masqueraders more time to enjoy themselves.

Atlanta-Dekalb bands.

Participating bands and launch dates come directly from ACBC.

We Kinda Ting Flyer

Launch date: December 12, 2021 (Virtually)

We Kinda Ting Mas has announced their theme for Atlanta-Dekalb Carnival with NinjaFete and Vaval Weekend as partners. Fonrose, Krave, Experience Nyrvana, David Dewer, and Mirage Mas are identified as section partners.  Still clarifying what that means to each,  It has been confirmed by reputable sources that Krave and Mirage will be private sections.  More to follow on the other section partners.

Note: WKT will close pre-registration on 6 December.

Band Launch January 7, 2022 (Launching Virtually).

Sokah Fetters mas Band Logo

Band Launch January 8, 2022, open for pre-registration.

Poison Mas

Band Launch January 9, 2022, open for pre-registration.

There have been hints on social media of a collaboration with Panache. More to follow.

inferno

Band Launch January 16, 2022.

Feters Army Mas Logo

Band Launch January 15, 2022

Sesame Atlanta Carnival Logo

Band Launch January 29, 2022

 

Band Launch January 22, 2022.

 

Reggaematic Mas has been listed by the ACBC as a band participating in Atlanta-Dekalb this year.  This band prides itself on playing music from all over the diaspora– Soca, Zouk, Afrobeats, and Dancehall.  No further information has been announced yet.

Feters Army Mas Logo

Band Launch January 15, 2022

Sesame Atlanta Carnival Logo

Band Launch January 29, 2022

 

TNT Garage Boys Flyer

TnT Garage Boys has a Band Launch February 5, 2022.

Image pending for Entice Mas.  Band Launch February 12, 2022.

 

Madd Colors has a band launch date of 2/19/2022.

We Live Carnival Flyer

Band Launch February 20, 2022.

Band Launch February 26, 2022

Band Launch January 23, 2022.

 

Mas with Panache Logo

Bamd Launch January 30, 2022.

Band Launch March 5, 2022. Vibez and Vision is open for pre-registration.

Band Launch January 19, 2022 (Launching Virtually).

Unity Mas Band

Band Launch March 12, 2022

Panyarder’s Mas Band Launch March 19, 2022. (Image Pending)

The VI all stars majorettes has been on the road in Atlanta for 16 years. They are a specialty group of majorettes, which is a huge staple of VI carnival since 1952. Children will learn history, teamwork and all about participating as a majorette in Carnival. This is for children ages 4-17.  They have had parents, so if you are interested as adult, feel free to contact.  If you want to register your child as a majorette, please shoot a DM or you can email Nicole Roebuck Warner at: nicoleroebuck34@gmail.com.  Registration will close early January 2022.

Don't ask me which to attend...

Well, you must know, I will not tell you all that, but I will continue to keep you abreast of the developments and information for both carnivals. The websites are in the process of updating, so it is not officially announced which band will turn up where (but if you’ve played Mas there, you’ll know).  Classically, band launches can start as early as December, all the way through March of next year.  A lot of bands had launched their costumes before 2020 was cancelled.  Likewise, let’s not forget that COVID-19 still has an impact on public events, so I anticipate there might be some differences.

Either way, I have attended both and can make recommendations whichever event you choose!  Would you believe I started playing Mas in Atlanta-Dekalb??  And so, It has a special place in my heart ❤️.  Either way, I will keep you guys in the know so you can make informed decisions.

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The Carnival Glam Hub Experience

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Stick to what you know.

When it comes to Carnival, this was a lesson I learned early on. From mas bands to other services: Once you do me right, I am yours forever.  Carnival glam hub (CGH) was no different. Trinidad was a whole experience: makeup, hair, breakfast, changing rooms, costume/bag storage, and even seamstresses on site to modify or repair your costume as needed. Even help you get your costume on. And let’s not forget the photography service! Everything I could possibly need to get ready for the road and capture the moment was there. It was so well organized that CGH left a solid impression.

Note: There is an affiliate link on this page! I love promoting products and services that I love.  Thank you so much for your support! 

I was so happy with CGH that I registered with them once again for Jamaica 2020.  Of course, we all know how that went.  When Jamaica was initially cancelled, I rolled my funds over with optimism although CGH offered refunds. But we really didn’t know better at the time, did we?  After two more cancellations after that CGH fell a little quiet.  Something told me however that as a customer I was still in good hands.  

When Miami was announced, I sat on bated breath wondering if CGH would be there.  Eventually, CGH made it official and I immediately contacted them via email to discuss if I could roll over my deposits from the Jamaica event, and they locked me in for an early appointment with those deposits.  I was able to jump on Eventbrite and pay the remaining balance.  They offered Makeup, Makeup and Photo Shoot, and Full Glam package which included Hair, makeup and breakfast.  While Trinidad had way more options, I totally expected for their service to be on a smaller scale.  

They just don't disappoint.

CGH was postured at the Nuvo Suites, a short 10 minute drive from the Miami Carnival grounds.  They started their makeup appointments as early as 3am that day.  The hotel was super-cute was the lobby was dressed with lush green backdrops that actually made a perfect spot for me to do an inpromtu live before I hit the road.  They advised us to arrive already in our body wear, and I believe that reduced the congestion in the lobby and the bathrooms significantly. I was greeted with a spot to hang my backpack and within minutes I was whisked to a room to get my makeup done.  No waiting, no delays. Seriously, my appointment was at 8 am, and I was in the seat and getting primed at 8:03.  Admittedly with my short height I struggled to get myself in her chair, but shortly after getting my cheeks in the seat, I was offered a mimosa while my makeup artist started.  Soca music was playing and to my left and right was a sea of eager and happy faces. Sista girl behind me was getting her hair curled. Admittedly it was a bit tighter room to maneuver  but it was nothing that caused me any type of internal distress.  I showed Mari my costume and she generated an absolutely stunning look.  Shortly after I finished my mimosa, I was offered another.  Sparking random conversations with ladies to my left and right, and getting makeup tips from the kind MUA, I overall had a LOT of fun with my experience.

Getting dressed.

The bathrooms available to us was easily overcrowed.  It did however have a large open area with three private toilets and two very large mirrors.  Ladies were busting out glue guns and helping eachother tie on thigh and arm pieces. Compliments flowing left and right.  I found myself helping someone with feathers that were loose and making some recommendations on tying a wire backpack and bra.  While a crowded bathroom would usually induce stress, the relaxed atmosphere and happy customers that CGH had created made everything easygoing and lighthearted.

Photoshoot, Pose...

I met up with Aryanna Fortune by the pool and we went to snapping some photos.  I was a bit nervous about the lighting as the miami sun was rather violent, even at 9:30 am.  She promised one week turn-around.  I actually got a link to review proofs from her website not four days later.  IT WAS I WHO DELAYED HER DELIVERY because I couldn’t make up my damn mind.  Two photos were included in the package and each additional was $10.  It took me almost a week to finally decide. But when I did,  she had my photos the following day.  She even threw in an extra because it was her favorite. After everything was set, I hopped on live for a bit and made my way to the Miami Carnival grounds.

Consider Carnival Glam Hub for your next Carnival experience.

Once again, CGH did not disappoint.  Services were rendered in a speedy, organized and professional manner, and I received my photos rather quickly. Considering they were up and running at 3am, I was impressed with their efficiency and energetic atmosphere. The mimosas and vibes was a bonus as well.   With the quality of the photos and how well my makeup was done, I would definitely say it was worth every penny.

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Discussing Carnival with Friends and Family

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The fun side.

After a few years of playing mas, I found myself visiting my dad and his wife at home in Harlem, NY.  Because the Army has loved stationing me no-where-near my hometown, I only go home maybe once or twice a year.  I remember sitting on my dad’s couch petting his dogs and catching up on what I had been up to since we last physically saw each other.  Somehow, I ended up discussing carnival.  My dad’s wife had seen the photos of me on social media and initially had some reservations going into a full blown discussion because she was HEAVY into the church, and anything not related to the Lord was “worldy”.  I initially imagined her telling me that I needed to give up the feathers, and come to church with her.  But I braved the discussion anyway about Carnival, what it meant to me, its cultural significance and was shocked to find her very supportive.  She even mentioned that maybe one day she would get in costume and join me on the road.

My best friend is a strait-laced Catholic.  Seriously, I do not understand how we ended up as best friends. But in natural best friend fashion, she loved to see me happy and admired the photos and videos of my joy.  Watching me closely as a best friend should, she found herself in awe of my confidence on the road even as my weight fluctuated with the life changes. My bestie is also Brazilian, and very much in tune with the African-influence of her culture.  She felt inspired and wanted to know what it was like to feel that free.  Last year, she registered to play mas with me for the very first time at Atlanta-Dekalb…but of course, COVID-19 had something to say about that.  She is still desiring to experience that infectious joy and hopes to be able to get on the road with me in the future.  I can’t wait to see her in costume.

A High-Five in the Face.

Dating a non-masquerader was touched on in a previous blog, so hit the hyperlink if you’d like to learn about my experience there.

I remember shortly after either my first or second jump in Atlanta-Dekalb carnival, I got a phone call from my sister.  She was clearly pressed and I asked her wha had happened.  A family member on our father’s side had seen our photos on social media.  He was so upset by what he saw that he had to call my own father to tell him that we were “parading half naked in the streets” and that we needed a talking to; a check on our morals if you will.  At that time, I had not completely done my research on the culture and frankly had no rebuttal about what I had heard other than its part of a culture. Im a grown ass woman and I’ll do as I please.  Luckily, said family member never fixed his fingers to dial my number, and my dad is just happy that I am doing well in life, and could care less as long as I was safe, sane and happy.

Sometime after a deployment, another family member visited me to help me put my home together.  We spent approximately one full week together catching up on life and getting my affairs in order.  I told him about Carnival and he found himself excited all the WRONG REASONS. Showing him photos from carnival provided a different type of reference that was not intended.  For him, Carnival was something purely sexual, and an opportunity to objectify women.  Although I had educated him on its significance, his mind was fixated on sexualizing masqueraders and I was not going to have any of it.  My invitation to share this experience with him was immediately rescinded.

An Educated Advocate.

Over the years, I have engaged many perspectives and have handled them in unique ways.

Having been an uneducated masquerader myself, I genuinely see both sides of the coin. Over the years, my defensiveness with snide remarks and misunderstandings has waned and I have chosen an approach that would welcome conversation.  Rebuttals with frustration or irritation would only permit someone outside the experience to stay fixated in their sentiment.

At this point, I have come to listen quietly and ask them questions such as, “what makes you feel that way?”  Immediately, most people are thrown off guard my approach but find themselves in the hot set to answer, and they do.  Their responses such as “because it’s just not appropriate” or “I could never do that” or “ its just unprofessional” or “I think its just_____” is responded to with a place of understanding. I bridge the gap by telling them that I see how they might view it that way, followed by “but did you know_____?”  Most often, they hadn’t.  

                                       “It’s just the culture” is never going to be an adequate response.

I remember when I started on this journey of learning asking many people in groups about certain aspects of Carnival.  The response “its just our culture” always left me feeling empty and slightly confused.  Imagine how someone else on the outside might be?

Understanding a little more about Caribbean culture and Carnival not only helps you tap into the significance of what could be an cathartic experience, but it also helps you engage in discussions with the people that you care about — friends, lovers, or family.  

Minds Can(t) be Changed.

For sake of my personal peace, I prefer to be very open about my life as a masquerader.  I understand how some may feel differently because I too was once in your shoes, and had the same reasons for not discussing my participation.  Discussing the masquerader life with someone not of the culture,  or who has not experienced it can be very daunting and at times, UNCOMFORTABLE.  I have found that coming from an educated frame of reference not only boosted my confidence in discussions, but it also made people feel a bit more comfortable, and encourages the open-mindedness that you want.

Just know that there are some minds that can’t be changed– your friends, your family, or your lover.  Only you can determine how you wish to navigate your life with these people.  Whether you choose to remain quiet about your experience or discuss mas freely, all I care about is what is genuinely best for you.

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Carnival Returns: How will you do things differently?

By Posted on 4min read52 views

COVID-19 allowed us to experience a different kind of tabanca.

Im not the same without Carnival.
One of my old IG posts.

In 2020, we witnessed the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic…on bated breath hoping that our beloved carnival would soon return after strict adherence to social distancing protocols, the use of a mask, curfews and closed businesses.  As we all banded together to “flatten the curve”, we saw our morale flatten as well with the loss of our beloved Carnival.  One by one, we saw anticipation for mas in Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Barbados, Bermuda and the like fall like dominoes. With time we would all witness the pattern: First the event coordinators, next, the road march.

I remember viewing posts about how humbled people have been made by the pandemic. Appreciating the simple things… from block parties to times with friends and the energy of a bustling city.  To be specific, I took in all the reminiscence of CARNIVAL right along those who wished to post on social media.  I realized how different my life was without carnival, and how i had not been the same person without it.  I found myself challenged to find new coping skills; a complete upheaval of my personal mental wellness plan.

During this period, I continued to learn about Caribbean culture and Carnival.

Image of Onika Henry
Onika Henry.

 Onika Henry is a sexologist and sex coach most known for her TED talk on reclaiming sexual identity through carnival. If you have not seen it, I strongly encourage you to do so and have your mind blown and expanded in 14 minutes or less.  Anyhoo… this past February, I read a powerful commentary from her calling for “A Mindful Approach to Mas”. 

“…The use of the term “a mindful approach” …is necessary because the present-day, heavily commercialised and diluted version of our Carnival celebrations, is devoid of the kind of mindfulness originally intended by our ancestors; the kind of mindfulness that makes the experience of this community joy practice even more transformative and healing.”

I reflect  on when I was first introduced to Carnival. I was told it was just something sexy and fun to do.  Not much context was given other than pick what island country you want to represent, wave that flag, “blend in” and enjoy. The sexual energy was emphasized so much so that I felt that I needed to ask my then-husband if it was okay if I could go. I immediately felt that the mas life was something exciting to experience but something to keep on the hush for sake of my professional image. And that was all the context I got. Social media did not help. All I could take in was bikini, feathers, and bumpas, very little cultural or historical context.  Gotta love commercialization.

It wasn’t until a few years later that I was made to realize I really needed to learn more about the culture and the experience.  Doing so allowed me to tap into the healing experience of Carnival, and solidified my place in this experience as an African American woman honoring pieces of my ancestry.

“…Carnival is an opportunity to unmask, through masking; to learn how to live authentically, through learning how to play; to learn to live without fear, by taking the risk to be vulnerable. The best sex and healthiest sexuality one could ever have, is when one is open and honest – unmasked and authentic – and when one feels safe to play and be vulnerable.”

Learning a bit more also allowed me to use the Carnival experience as a practice of transformation and healing.  Learning of its ties to liberation, freedom of expression, shedding the pain of the past and celebrating life’s triumphs brought intention to Carnival. For me, Carnival is no longer just an event, it is a spiritual practice.

Setting your intention for carnival.

Onika Henry recommends that one approach mas first by setting an intention that may fall in to any or all of the following categories below.  For me, I am a blend of all the intentions!

Healthy Resistance/Rebellion.

Mas is an affirmation of survival, especially in a society that is designed at the demise of Black people.  When I play mas, I celebrate every hurdle that I have jumped and every glass ceiling that I have broken with the guidance of my ancestors.

Resilience.

My job is demanding and life can be very difficult.  I look to Carnival as my spiritual and mental reset button.  When return from playing mas, my body may be fatigued, but my spirit renewed, ready to take on the challenge ahead of me.

Surrender and Joyful Acceptance.

In my previous blog, I discuss how the carnival experience has afforded me the space to celebrate and accept my body openly regardless of the reading on a scale.  

Somatic Release.

There is something magical about the culminating energy of all the masqueraders together in this moment. The bass from the truck permeating your spirit and the freedom of movement and expression.  It’s catharsis.

There's more to mindful mas than what i've listed.

Onika Henry recommends finding a space or tradition that aligns with your intention and then immersing yourself in your own process in preparing for carnival.  For sake of brevity, I prefer not to completely dissect her commentary and I do hope that you will read it all for yourself on Newsday TT.

Having said that, how do you intend to do Carnival differently?  Have you been engaging in “Mindful mas” without realizing it? If you haven’t been engaging in mindful mas, do you think there are some ways that you can? How will you play mas differently now that it is back?  Feel free to share below!

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Afro Soca Love

By Posted on 5min read47 views

SO! Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born in Los Angeles, but lived in London, NYC, DC, St Lucia and also all over California. My mother is St Lucian and my father is Sri Lankan.

So let's get my burning question out of the way. What does "maga" stand for? Because... Trump.

Before Donald dump. “Maga” means “skinny”. Its our “Caribbean slang”. Not his. Its black owned, and I’m taking it back.

When I think about HBCUs, I completely forget the the fact that not just African Americans attend. What was that like for you?

Yes! I noticed that alot of us may be intimidated by one another’s cultures as much as we are fascinated with each other’s cultures. That fear sometimes keeps us from exploring and learning more about one another. Once that takes place, and we become less exposed, we begin to assume a lot about one another and it creates a lot of misconceptions and misunderstanding. But the beauty of it all is also once we experience each other, we are able to break down those blocks and connection and find a genuine love between one another. 

How did your upbringing and experiences at Howard University inspire you to create Afro Soca Love?

At Howard I was very involved with the international community. I hosted events, DJed and was apart of leadership groups where we did our best to integrate our cultural experiences into the everyday life on campus. I also was able to travel to other universities and connect them to our schools as well through my networks with the international community. It was really cool, although I went to Howard I was connect to all the schools in the area and it gave me a huge network and change to explore diversity in schools across the nation. It would later help me understand and connect others, it was like a playground for what I would do in the future. 

Myron DJing at one of his Afro Soca Love events.

What made you transition from DJing to organizing Afro Soca Love fetes?

I made the transition, because I wanted to have more of an impact on the community. DJing was mostly about playing music and the gigs were about make people dance. Having more control over the overall event allowed me to focus on the messaging and moving people through a more actionable performances where I could have those conversations about us with us while also making the crowd groove. Nobody could tell me what to do, and it allowed me to really step into my voice as a musician and connect with people on a level where I could be myself and play and communicate about things I felt the most passionate about. 

What was your most significant challenge you faced with your brand and how did you overcome it?

The most significant challenge was scaling the business. It was always an issue to find venues, business owners and partners to understand the impact of our culture outside of the carnival season. A lot of our show have been off season and in venues that don’t typically host events for our musical genres. I have also been met with reservations on the support we would get in new cities, but we also ended up proving them wrong.

Souls fused by afrobeats and soca. Rhythm and vibe connecting the diaspora.

"There is absolutely nothing like this international experience”

J Carter, Founder of One Music Festival Tweet

What do you love the most about Afro Soca Love?

I love the mission the most. It’s not really about the music, it’s about the message and the cultures. We are really about connecting the diaspora.

Tell me about the different types of people that come to your parties and the responses you have received over time.

The beauty of our show is the crowd, it is so mixed. A lot of people had never been exposed to the music before and a great amount were deeply connected to the music and culture. I think that it what people enjoyed the most, there was always new faces and cultures. I made it a point to always welcome everyone. 

How has COVID-19 challenged your business, and what do you currently have planned for the future?

Yes, with the pandemic we had to stop doing shows. But it was actually a great blessing. It allowed me to focus on the fashion side of our company which I have always been involved with but haven’t had much time to learn and grow. In terms. 

Have you played mas before? What was your first time like, and what is your most memorable experience?

I have played alot and often in the past. My first time I was around 17, and it was so big to me, I was afraid of the big crowds of people and the costumes. It was intimidating at first, but as I got older it became the best time of the year and my life. The most memorable experience was Carnival in Notting Hill in 2015. I didn’t play mas but it was the first time I played on a big truck for everyone on the road. I remember crossing the stage and everyone on the street was behind our truck, folks were in their apartments looking down at us, and the sun was coming down, it was amazing to see everyone enjoying themselves with one another.

Connecting with Afro Soca Love

Afro Soca Love on Instagram

Click the Link Below to connect to Instagram

Merchandise

I am IN LOVE with their merch! Check them out! Black-owned, hand made, and for a good cause.

AWM Thanks you!

The world is so small! I learned about Afro Soca Love two years ago when a friend sent me a link for your DC fete in 2018.  I wasn’t able to attend, but you’ve been on my radar since. I purchased a few of your items, and after scanning your website, I knew I wanted to hear all about your brand. 

It has been an immense joy learning about Afro Soca Love and its mission.  The concept of unifying the diaspora resonates deeply with me and I am looking forward to seeing what you and your team have in mind (post COVID, of course).  Many blessings to you and your business.

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Reyes’ Traditional Puncha Creama

By Posted on 4min read43 views
Introducing Reyes Puncha Creama.

Tell us a little about yourself!

Hello my name is Monique and I am the creator of Reyes’ Traditional  Puncha Creama. I am from Queens, New York born and raised. I am a Black Entrepreneur with a Dream. Single with no kids.  I was introduced by my grandmother and mother to Puncha Creama. Christmas was the time of year that both my mom and grandma would spend hours in the kitchen making batches of Puncha Creama for the family get together.  I think because of those times, Christmas is my favorite time of the year.

As a New Yorker, all I know is coquito. What is puncha creama and how does it differ?

You are right a lot of people do know mainly about Coquito in the New York area.  I think because it is more vocalized by Spanish culture to the world.  I believe Coquito is distributed more so in the Northeast area.  

Puncha Creama which is also known to a lot of Caribbean (Trinidadian) households as Ponche de Creme. Its made with Condensed Milk, Evaporated Milk, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Lime peels, Angostura Bitters, and Rum  for taste. 

There are a few companies in Trinidad and Tobago that do mass distribution. I don’t know of any in the states. The difference between the two is Coquito’s main ingredient is made with coconut milk. Puncha Creama does not have that ingredient, but we do make ours with egg. Puncha Creama is a thicker drink, compared to Coquito. 

Like coquito, puncha creama is a traditional drink to share with friends, family and loved ones during the holidays.

What inspired you to start your business and how has it been for you during the COVID-19 era?

I actually just started my business this year, and I feel like COVID is the reason why Reyes’ Puncha Creama hit the ground running.  I know that we are all dealing with the affects of this virus.  We have been in a state of survival since March.  I thought to myself that starting  Reyes’ Puncha Creama was going to shine a light on a dim situation. I know that when I drink Puncha Creama, there is always a story of my family being together and filled with love. I wanted others to either reminisce about their times they had with their loved ones and create new memories with those they are quarantined with.

I was inspired by my family to create Reyes’ Puncha Creama . They were a driving force behind me. They knew how much I loved to make it and spread Joy around the Holiday Season, especially Christmas. I started out making it around Christmas for my friends and family.  It was always a little bit of joy in a bottle that I could spread around.  It was how I brought Christmas cheer to the ones I loved. 

It brings me great joy to know that I made something, that was taught to me by my mom and grandma.  I am so blessed to know that people can also share Reyes Puncha Creama, which is a piece of my family’s Trinidadian culture with their loved ones.  It’s a delicious culture story. 

 

How has sharing puncha creama helped bridge cultural gaps?

It definitely has brought culture awareness to the forefront.  I would always have to explain the difference between the two amazing drinks coquito and puncha creama.  It’s cool teaching my friends that are Spanish speaking about puncha creama.  They have taught me a lot about their culture too. So I’m honored to teach them about mine. I have tons of people that love the taste and start asking questions. I only share my family history with it.  That’s the one I know the best. 

What advice do you have for small business owners?

 The advice I have for small businesses is simply to stay consistent. If you really want your business to be successful, you have to eat, live and breathe it.  You have to love what you are doing.  There are no days off.

Connect with Reyes' Puncha Creama

Check her out and instagram! While you're at it, DM her to order!

AWM thoughts and thank you!

Do not buy this stuff and expect to save it for later.

So far, the only thing I have been breaking my clean eating on is Reyes’ puncha creama. No lie.  The first jar I got did not last a full 12 hours. I was supposed to take photos first before sampling.  I thought I was going to take a few sips of the stuff, then photograph. I was wrong. I had to order another damn jar to shoot with. Seriously, it is that good.

Coquito and her puncha creama have similarities, but they taste different. I like the creaminess of her drink and the generous splash of rum “to taste lol”. But honestly I can’t tell which I like more.  Coquito is good too, but if you want to change it up with a taste of Caribbean culture for the holidays, be sure to check her out on instagram. Tell her AWM sent you! 

Monique! I am so glad to have stumbled across your IG page! It was super fun learning about your business and of course tasting THREE orders of puncha creama since we connected in the beginning of November.  I wish you all of the success in your business. 

 

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